Mobile Borders

While the large bulk of Europe is starting to come together with the EU and all that that means, one this is for certain, their mobile phone systems suck for the end users. I discovered this as I tried to use my phone from T-Mobile in Austria with their “World Class Service”. First off, this is a crock. You cannot just pop your phone open in any country and have it work. It just does not happen, period. The frau at the counter of the T-Mobile store in Graz had no luck with it and neither has anyone else that I have known.
So, with that fun out of the way, I went to buy a new SIM card for the phone, which is a pretty easy thing to do, but requires some extra cash to get it going. It is not too bad except for the fact that phone rates suck on mobiles. Your best rate is going to be 12 cents a minute and you will lucky to get this. Then you count in the fact it costs a considerable amount to call other countries and it cost a good deal to text message and that 40€ card you bought does not go so far. Oh, but you can roam in to other countries because countries are so small! Oh, but you can, but it will cost you dearly. Your phone rate goes up to something like 1.20€ per minute. Holy crap!
The scariest thing in all of this is that it is normal for people over here to pay this much and they do it. I think most folks spend more on the “handy” than on rent sometimes. This is also the reason that people text message so much; not out of being polite, but the fact they can get 20 text messages for the cost of one phone call.
Just think about this the next time you bitch about how bit your mobile bill is. We have got it pretty good in the US when it comes to things like this.